Bipartisan group of senators call for US to investigate Russian cyberattacks

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U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) (L) and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) share a moment as they speak to members of the press outside the Senate Chamber June 27, 2013 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.
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A bipartisan group of senators is calling for Congress to investigate recent reports of Russian interference in the 2016 election, which the CIA believes was done with the intention of aiding Republican Donald Trump.

The group – consisting of two Democrats and two Republicans – urged lawmakers on Sunday to put party politics aside and join forces to stop the “grave threats” of cyberattacks conducted by foreign governments.

“We have an obligation to inform the public about recent cyberattacks that have cut to the heart of our free society,” read the statement, issued jointly by Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham and Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer and Jack Reed.

“Democrats and Republicans must work together, and across the jurisdictional lines of the Congress, to examine these recent incidents thoroughly and devise comprehensive solutions to deter and defend against further cyber-attacks,” their statement continued.

Reports emerged on Friday that CIA officials say they have evidence proving Russian meddling to try to aid Trump’s victory. However, Trump cast doubt on the reported findings and insisted the country “move on” from the election.

“I think it’s just another excuse. I don’t believe it,” Trump said in a Fox News interview on Sunday.

Trump has received an onslaught of criticism for his perceived coziness with Russian President Vladimir Putin. On Saturday, NBC News reported Trump is expected to select Rex Tillerson – an oil executive with longstanding ties to Putin – to be his administration’s secretary of state.

In their statement, the group of senators said Friday’s CIA report “should alarm every American.”

“This cannot become a partisan issue,” the statement said. “The stakes are too high for our country.”

Read the full statement below:

“For years, foreign adversaries have directed cyberattacks at America’s physical, economic, and military infrastructure, while stealing our intellectual property. Now our democratic institutions have been targeted. Recent reports of Russian interference in our election should alarm every American.

“Congress’s national security committees have worked diligently to address the complex challenge of cybersecurity, but recent events show that more must be done. While protecting classified material, we have an obligation to inform the public about recent cyberattacks that have cut to the heart of our free society. Democrats and Republicans must work together, and across the jurisdictional lines of the Congress, to examine these recent incidents thoroughly and devise comprehensive solutions to deter and defend against further cyber-attacks.

“This cannot become a partisan issue. The stakes are too high for our country. We are committed to working in this bipartisan manner, and we will seek to unify our colleagues around the goal of investigating and stopping the grave threats that cyberattacks conducted by foreign governments pose to our national security.”